Thursday, June 5, 2014

Baby's 1st Birthday (a little late..)

Easter weekend was a crazy one in our household this year because it was also the boy-o's 1st Birthday! We tried to keep his b-day fun on Saturday and then do the egg hunt stuff on Sunday, so that he got to distinctly celebrate both rather than having them mushed together. (As a kid whose birthday was always Thanksgiving weekend, I know that pain all too well!)

Like many parents I was a little concerned about giving him a super sugary birthday cake, but I didn't want him to miss out on the fun. Carrot cake is a bit of a birthday tradition in my family, since it's both my Dad's and my favourite cake. My Dad's Mum used to make the BEST carrot cake ever, so there was no question that I wanted to use her recipe--it just needed a little tweaking to make it a bit healthier for the boy-o. So a few quick substitutions and we were on our way.

It's amazing how much of that cake he managed to shove in his mouth! I'd say he liked it!

Here's the recipe I used to make his cake:

Baby's 1st Carrot Cake


- 2 cups whole wheat flour (you could do half and half to make it a bit lighter)
- 2 TSP baking soda
- 1 1/2 TSP baking powder
- 1 TSP salt
- 2 TSP cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar (down from 2)
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce (applesauce instead of oil)
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 1/4 cup drained, crushed pineapple


1. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl.
2. Now add the sugar, applesauce, and eggs. Beat hard by hand for one minute.
3. Add carrot, and pineapple to the mix. The batter should be quite moist.
4. Grease bottom of 9X13 inch pan (or something of similar dimensions), and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until center is set.
5. Cool and frost as desired.

It's pretty traditional in our family to add cream cheese icing to our carrot cake, and because he mostly just smeared the icing all over the place I used regular cream cheesing frosting. (The cream cheese part is actually quite good for him) If you wanted to keep the cream cheese taste without the sugar that goes with it, you can easily mix up some regular cream cheese with some pureed fruit and use that as your icing instead.

Because his birthday was PIRATE themed, I wanted to make him a pirate cake, a well as a carrot cake. So he got his own little "Smash Cake" and the adults got to eat the Pirate Cake. I think it turned out pretty good--and it was certainly delicious!

The Pirate Themed cake, made in a large number ONE pan!

The boy-o had a great time celebrating his birthday with family and friends and I was super excited to make up all the pirate themed stuff for his party. I've already posted about the chalkboard sneak peak, but here's a quick look at some of the other "pirate themed" ideas we came up with.

Seaweed Wraps, Fish and Chips, Sea Water, Canon Balls, etc. Delicious! 

Thanks to the Rabbit Hole that is Pinterest, I found all sorts of ideas for naming foods pirate related things and came up with some simple and delicious snack ideas, like Fish and Chips--combining regular chips with some goldfish in a large blue bowl. My personal favourite though were the Canon Balls--hot meatballs thrown into the crockpot. Zero effort, but always delicious!

Monthly Photos-Day 1 through till 11 Months

Similar to the chalkboard, I love making crafty things, and I knew from the get-go of the party planning that I wanted to make a month-by-month banner to show the changes in him over a specific period of time. It was so hard choosing which photos to include, but it was a lovely trip down memory lane looking at them all, and it really is amazing to see the differences when they're all compared side by side like that.

Pirate Cupcakes. Arrrrrgh!
Because we ended up having two parties (one for immediate family, and one for baby friends) we decided on cupcakes for the friends party and had the pirate cake for the family party. Dollarama, God I love that place, actually had pirate themed cupcake holders which was amazingly perfect, and a few pirate themed picks stuck into the cupcakes completed the decorating.

In any case, we had a wonderful time celebrating, I didn't get all sad and weepy--honest!-- and the baby boy was spoiled by everyone. We are so very lucky to have such amazing family and friends, you made the boy-o's 1st Birthday extra special.

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